Pro-Remain Media Gleefully Blame Brexit for Lloyds Job Cuts, Get Slapped Down

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By Kieran Corcoran | 7:22 am, July 28, 2016

Remain-backing news organisations and pundits reacted with barely-concealed glee to news this morning of 3,000 job cuts by a major UK bank – but got slapped down for falsely linking the move to the EU Referendum result.

Headlines claimed that Lloyds had decided to close 200 branches and make staff redundant as a direct consequences of the British decision to sever ties with Brussels:

They contributed to a narrative of economic doom which has already been punctured by bouts of good news.

An impression that the bank had effectively blamed the British electorate for the cuts prompted Lloyds to deny the pro-EU spin.

When Brexit backers complained on social media, the bank pointed out that it actually decided on the closures before the vote:

A spokesman for Lloyds confirmed to Heat Street that the plans, announced in the bank’s bi-annual results, had been decided long before the vote.

In fact, the announcement is an acceleration of an existing plan which is seeing branches close because customers don’t visit them any more. You can read what the group said to investors here for yourself.

A surge in online and mobile banking technology has made regular visits to branches unnecessary for many consumers.

This, Lloyds said, was the driver behind the decision – rather than the recent vote. Elsewhere in the results document, Lloyds did address the referendum result, but said only that the repercussions are “uncertain” – and that it was preparing.

Lloyds was not among the prominent British companies which issued dire warnings to the electorate during the referendum.

The bank refused requests from 10 Downing Street to sign open letters to newspapers, issue scare statements and host campaign events and instead stayed neutral.